European Ancestors – Researching in Lithuania

There are five regions in Lithuania which are known as Rajonas. Each region has a post office that serves the outlaying villages and that town was known as the Pastas. A village or small town town was known typically as Kaimo.

Courtesy of Visit Lithuania (

  • Samogitia
  • Lithuania Minor
  • Dzukija
  • Suvalkija
  • Aukstaitija

Each region has different folk culture, topography, flora, fauna and dialect. With some location names changing during the Soviet era.

Surnames in Lithuania

  • Married women drop the end of the male surname and add the suffix of iene which is the equivalent to Mrs.
  • Unmarried women add the suffix of either aite, yte, ute or te
  • In the latter part of the 20th Century there was an increase in married women retaining their maiden names, particularly if they were  employed in the creativity or artist industries.


Those from the Suvalkija region in Lithuania were amongst the first to migrate from the country. Many came to the United Kingdom, via Hamburg and the Netherlands. Some remained in United Kingdom whilst others continued on to the United States, although there may well have been time delays between leaving Lithuania and arriving in England before continuing to the United States.

This region in Lithuania is well known for labouring and mining. Many found their way to Scotland and worked there, after iron deposits were found just south of Glasgow in the mid 1800’s. Later as mines were establishing themselves in the United States many moved across the Atlantic to the United States, in some cases leaving family members behind in Scotland or other mining regions of the UK.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
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